Viceroy And Monarch
Once, the Turtle invited the Rabbit for a cup of tea.
by Paul Hartal
It was a cold day and sipping their hot beverage
at the fireplace they talked about a variety of things.
"My favorite butterfly is the Viceroy", said the Rabbit.
"And why is that? " asked the Turtle.
"Because the Viceroy is beautiful."
"Oh, my favorite butterfly is the Monarch",
said the Turtle.
"And how so? " asked the Rabbit.
"Because the honest Monarch looks like the Viceroy
and is also beautiful."
"So what is the difference? " said the Rabbit.
"Oh, they are quite different."
"Why? " asked the Rabbit.
"Well, I'm not a lepidopterist", said the Turtle.
"But I heard that the Monarch feeds on milkweeds
and therefore it tastes bad to birds. It lets the birds
notice its unpleasant flavor by warning coloration.
On the other hand, the birds would enjoy the taste
of the Viceroy, however it camouflages itself
by displaying a similar warning coloration to that
used by the Monarch."
"So the Viceroy is not only beautiful, but also smart",
said the Rabbit.
"And tricky, too", said the Turtle.
"Somewhat like a magician who pulls out a rabbit
from the hat, but no pun intended."